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Reception Venue Revue

Reception Hall Venues Revue

I hope you all read the blog on contracts.  If you didn’t go back, READ ABOUT CONTRACTS.  Be careful when signing anything!  Look at the cancellation policy very carefully.  Make sure you understand what you will be responsible for if you have to cancel for any reason.  I know it will never happen…hey it does!  The couple does not have to break up to change things, crazy STUFF happens.  Family members become sick, a bride or groom may become ill, job changes … the list goes on.  Make sure you understand everything, if you don’t ask.  Do Not be afraid to ask, there are no stupid questions only stupid people that don’t ask questions.  Ok, I’ll get off the soapbox again.

Parke Hote

Reception at the Parke Hotel


So what were we talking about?  Oh yeah, Banquet Facilities.   There are advantages of having your wedding at a Hotel Banquet Room.  You usually receive a complimentary Suite or Room when you book with them. Your guests from out of town are right there, they do not have to travel in an area they are not familiar.   It may seem more expensive at first than using  a Hall or Tent.  But, when you start adding everything up that needs to be brought into your reception you may find that a reception venue at a Hotel is very comparable and much more convenient.  Things to be aware of;

  • Is there a minimum? There usually is a minimum and that will depend on the number of rooms you require.  Minimums are waived for Friday and Sunday receptions.
  • What is the Gratuity or Service Charge?  It will be at least 18% – 21% check the fine print.
  • What is the tax?  There is a state tax and a city tax making it 9.75%
  • Are there extras?  Valet Parking?  Coat check? 
  • Hotel Blocks?  What is the discounted rate?  Can my guests get it cheaper on Priceline?  Is the Hotel Pet friendly for those of you with family members who are animal lovers?  (Now there is nothing wrong with animal lovers, we happen to be some of those wonderful people.)
  • What about overflow?  Is there shuttle service to and from other hotels?
  • If guests are flying in, is there a shuttle to and from the hotel?   
  • Do they provide a personal website for you? 
  • Make sure you understand what the package includes and what it does not include!  Don’t Assume there is a cake unless it is in your contract!   Don’t assume there is a champagne toast unless it is in the contract!   What if you want ivory linens and not white can you do that, ASK! 
  • How long do you have the space for?  Are you sure you can be there until midnight?  This will determine the time of your ceremony.  (It is at least 6 hours but check, don’t assume.  You may be responsible for overtime charges, so ask!)
  • Is there a possibility to have the ceremony at the same place?  Can you have the ceremony in the reception room and then have the room turned around as guests are at a Cocktail hour?


Here are a few basics from Hotels in Bloomington/Normal.

  • Parke Hotel
    • Average package with open bar is $55/person
    • There is a minimum depending on the number of rooms booked.
    • 18% Gratuity
    • White or Champagne colored linens
    • audio/visual equipment available no charge
    • Cake from Janet’s Cakes
    • Champagne Toast included
    • Complimentary Room


  • Crestwicke Country Club  Capacity 250 (again we started with 300 but once you add it up this may change)
    • Average package with open bar is $65/person
    • Minimum $3500
    • 18% Gratuity
    • Linens
    • Video
    • Cake from Sugar Art
    • Champagne Toast included


  • Marriott Normal
    • Average Package with open bar  $65/person
    • There is a minimum depending on the number of rooms.
    • 21% Gratuity
    • Linens
    • No cake
    • Media system extra charge $300
    • Complimentary Room


  • Holiday Inn Airport
    • Average Package with open bar 76.99/person
    • 18% Gratuity
    • Basic Linens
    • No cake
    • Complimentary Room


  • Doubletree Hotel is a little different with their packages.  They offer three different packages
  • 19% Gratuity
  • Minimum required depending on the number of rooms.
  • “I Do”
    • Ivory or white Linens
    • Champagne Punch welcome reception (you can use this for your cocktail hour)
    • Champagne toast
    • Dinner Average plated or buffet $32/person add 47.95/person for a three hour open bar
    • Complimentary Room
  • “Happily Ever After”
    • The basic + one hour of open bar during the cocktail hour
    • a selection of seasonal fruit and veggies
    • Choice of white, ivory or black chair covers with sash you choose color sash
    • DJ Service or uplighting by Premier Productions
  • “Forever & Evermore”
    • Cake provided by Denny’s Bakery
    • All of the above + Dj and Lighting
    • Three additional hours of open bar


There it is in a nutshell!  Now go to work.  Get the calculator out and start adding things up.  Don’t panic, nothing is in stone YET, that is why you add it up before you sign on the dotted line.  See why a planner is important!

2010 Margaret Moore,
Want to use this article in your E-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete statement:

Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE  “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare”  at

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